Husbandry Team members measure Loggerhead Sea Turtle’s head.

Annual Loggerhead Sea Turtle Checkup

Let's get physical!
Author
Alexandria Feltes
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Recently, our rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle had her annual checkup — we scrubbed her shell, got some new measurements and even collected a blood sample! Every year, our Husbandry and Veterinary Teams gather new measurements to track her growth and health over time. This information helps us to better understand our turtle and continue to provide her with the best possible care.

Our rescued Loggerhead Sea Turtle has a pretty incredible story of success. When she arrived at Birch Aquarium in 2014, she was underweight and only weighed 98 pounds. She has since thrived under our care and currently weighs 210 pounds. As she continues to grow with age, so does her shell! Today, her shell alone is about the size of a boogie board — it’s about 3 feet long and more than 2.5 feet wide.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles are known for their massive heads. The standout size of their heads is how this species got its name loggerhead! Our sea turtle’s head is approximately 7.5 inches long and about the size of a cantaloupe.

Our rescued sea turtle has a “unique” swimming style, as her former injuries paralyzed her back flippers and affected her buoyancy. But with the help of a 3D-printed brace on her shell, she continues to thrive and swim in style. Our sea turtle also uses long front flippers to power herself through the water. Her front flippers measured to be around 16.5 inches long – so about the length of a bowling pin!

This incredible team effort was a major success — our lovely Loggerhead Sea Turtle got a clean bill of health and was safely placed back into her habitat in the Hall of Fishes.